Team activities for Kelowna Rockets have been paused, the Western Hockey League announced on Wednesday, with multiple players and staff having being added to the league’s COVID-19 protocol list for having tested positive or exhibiting symptoms.
“The health and safety of our players is always our first priority,” WHL commissioner Ron Robison told Global News.
The WHL has struggled this season with COVID-19, and several teams have been forced to pause activities.
The league’s policy is that if there are two or more positive tests, the team immediately gets a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and is on pause.
According to Robison, Kelowna’s had a very low number of positive tests so far this season. And because of that, the league was anticipating that COVID would force a pause at some time.
“Omicron is highly contagious. Obviously, it’s affecting society and we are not immune from that,” Robison admitted.
“As much as we have our players and the staff fully vaccinated, we are going to have cases.”
If all goes well, Kelowna (18-10-1-3) could be back practicing on Sunday, then head to Victoria on Tuesday, Jan. 25, to play the Royals (12-18-4-0).
“They are having their second PCR tests today, and those results are going to be sent to a private lab,” Robison said.
“Once we have those results, either late tomorrow night or early Sunday morning, we will allow the team to resume activities provided there are no additional positive cases.”